Some quickbread recipes I make do not result in a great looking top surface, even though they taste fine. They would benefit from either an eggwash or a milkwash. Obviously I can't brush a wash on a quickbread batter the way I would on a pie crust or cookie dough, i.e., before baking.

Does anyone have experience pulling a partially baked quickbread out of the oven to brush on a wash to get a nice-looking top? At what point in the bake should I do this? If so, which is preferable, egg or milk? I'm looking for shine and depth of color.

  • It's going to have to be late, or the loaf will collapse. How late, and whether it works at all, are another question. Do you use oil or solid fat in your recipe? You may be able to wash bread made with the latter before baking – Chris H Nov 12 '18 at 8:00
  • Good point, Chris H, about collapsing. I'll try it about sort of late. I usually use oil, but sometimes coconut oil which might be considered solid fat, not sure. I suppose I could try putting a wash on wet dough (if it seems stiff enough). Thanks. – Arlo Nov 13 '18 at 16:06

Arlo, assuming you're talking about relatively dense quickbreads such as zucchini, pumpkin or banana bread or the like, I have not had any trouble with collapsing. I use egg or egg white wash sometimes(*) around the time I do my first toothpick test and it comes out just a bit wet. So, call it maybe 7-8 minutes before it's finally done. I've not tried a milk wash.

Honestly, while this does give it a nice sheen, these breads are so dark already that it doesn't really do anything for the color.

For a sweet bread like banana etc, you can also get a nicer looking top by evenly sprinkling fairly large crystal sugar across the top of the dough (batter) before it goes in.

(*) If I'm presenting to non-family members like at a work potluck. For the kids, who cares? Haha.

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